Incumbents outpace opponents in Tuesday’s primary
Tuesday proved to be a good day for incumbents.
Santa Barbara County officials seeking re-election got more votes than their primary opponents in what the elections office called “semi-official” results.
Ahead in the races were Susan Salcido, the Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools; Sheriff Bill Brown and Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Joe Holland.
All of the county’s 216 precincts reported results, but votes are still being counted. The election won’t be certified until July 7.
One thing’s for certain: Turnout was low. Of the county’s 235,212 registered voters, 49,288 people cast votes. That’s just under 21%, and that’s despite every registered voter receiving a ballot in the mail.
That said, most of those voting Tuesday did so via mail-in ballots, which they put in the mail (no stamp needed) or dropped into a designated, secure box. Only 4,464 of the 49,288 voters cast their ballots at a polling place.
In the county superintendent race, Dr. Salcido received 28,877 votes or 64.06% of the ballots.
Challenger Christy Lozano, a Santa Barbara Unified School District teacher on voluntary leave from Dos Pueblos High School, had 16,093 votes or 35.7% of the votes.
“While ballots continue to be processed, I am filled with gratitude for the countywide votes of confidence and am more committed than ever to serving the students, families, educators and schools of Santa Barbara County,” Dr. Salcido told the News-Press in a statement.
The News-Press reached out to Ms. Lozano, who declined to comment until more votes are counted.
In another race, Sheriff Brown is ahead with 25,913 votes or 56.79% of the votes in his bid for re-election. His opponent, Lt. Juan Camarena, had 19,599 votes or 42.96% of the votes.
And Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Holland was far ahead in his bid for re-election, with 35,989 votes or 80.97% of the votes, according to the semi-official results.
Challenger Elrawd MacLearn had 8,356 votes or 18.8% of the votes.
Running unopposed Tuesday in local races were Laura Capps for the 2nd District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, Steve Lavagnino for the 5th District seat on the Board of Supervisors and county district attorney candidate John Savrnoch, who’s currently a deputy district attorney. Current District Attorney Joyce Dudley decided not to seek another term.
Also unopposed were county Auditor-Controller Betsy Schaffer and county Treasurer and Tax Collector Harry Hagen in their re-election bids.
News-Press staff writer Katherine Zehnder contributed to this story.